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Turf cutter - is it worth it?

Julia1983Julia1983 ShropshirePosts: 139
So we want to cut some turf out of our lawn to put some annual seeds in..  the area is about 8x2m ish. I have looked at turf cutter hire and prices range from 55 to 100 pounds or more, I assume that the cheaper machine also won't be as good. Is it worth paying this or should we just get a turf iron and do it ourselves? The soil is sandy and dry despite recent weather so pretty easy to dig... we're also physically fit (I would say young but hurtling towards 40 so prob not so much now!😂). I dug a section out elsewhere this afternoon and it wasn't too difficult. Also I was hoping to just rake it over and sow afterwards,  could we achieve this with an iron? Thanks for any advice! 


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,490
    I would just do it yourself, usually fairly easy with a large square end spade, especially if you have sandy soil.  Save the money!! 
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,022
    .cut the turfs into rectangles with a half moon first
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,701
    You could use the lasagne technique. I've done it successfully a couple of times. But it takes some time and is best done over the winter,  so too late now.
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Julia1983Julia1983 ShropshirePosts: 139
    What is the lasagne technique?   :)
  • Julia1983Julia1983 ShropshirePosts: 139
    Thanks, I'd not heard that term before. Will keep it in mind for future projects! 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,954
    If you don't need to remove the turf as you're creating a flower bed, there's no reason to lift it. Cover it to block light getting to the grass and stop it growing, and just add manure/compost etc  depending on what you want to sow.
    I'm assuming that's what @Papi Jo's link is about. 

    You can do it now if you want. A layer of cardboard, if you don't want to use landscape fabric, and a deep layer of your growing medium would be fine for growing most annuals. They don't need a foot of soil, but it would also raise the growing bed from the surrounding grass, which helps when mowing.

    Ideally, you'd lift the turf and turn it over, and then add a layer of soil etc. I've just lifted about 5 square metres of grass here. Over a few days, because of weather conditions, about an hour at a time. I have heavy soil, but it isn't that difficult to do. I use my trusty border spade, which is better than my half moon edger.
    I've lifted a lot of turf in this garden, and I'm a good bit older than you  ;)
    It makes excellent soil for new borders, when turned upside down and left to break down.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,294
    We started trying to dig up lawn to lay wildflower meadow, on clay in the summer nearly killed us, had to use a pick ax.  After 2 years of that, we hired a turf cutter for 3 hours, I think it was £50, worth every penny!!
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